Friday, August 22, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale Head the Ensemble of Warner Bros. Pictures’ 3D Adventure JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS

Young actor Rohan Chand to star as Mowgli in the cast, also including Peter Mullan, Tom Hollander, Naomie Harris, Eddie Marsan, and Andy Serkis

Tim here, and I came upon a press release earlier today for Andy Serkis' Jungle Book adaption being handled by Warner Bros., which is not to be confused with the Disney one being directed by Jon Favreau. The press release (below) announces the cast of the Serkis headed movie, and it's quite the impressive cast. If you remember earlier in the year when I interviewed Andy Serkis at CinemaCon we spoke briefly about Jungle Book: Origins, which he had just been announced to direct.

Press Release:
BURBANK, Calif. --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Warner Bros. Pictures has assembled an impressive roster of stars for "Jungle Book: Origins," its new big-screen, 3D adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's classic The Jungle Book, marking the feature film directorial debut of Andy Serkis. The action adventure, which will blend motion capture and live action, will be released on October 21, 2016. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.
The actors performing the roles of the story's central animal characters are: Benedict Cumberbatch ("The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug") as the fearsome tiger, Shere Khan; Oscar winner Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") as the sinister snake, Kaa; Oscar winner Christian Bale ("The Fighter," the "Dark Knight" Trilogy) as the cunning panther, Bagheera; Andy Serkis ("Dawn of the Planet of the Apes") as the wise bear, Baloo; Peter Mullan ("Hercules") as the leader of the wolf pack, Akela; Tom Hollander as the scavenging hyena, Tabaqui; Naomie Harris ("Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom") as Nisha, the female wolf, who adopts the baby Mowgli as one of her cubs; Eddie Marsan ("Ray Donovan") as Nisha's mate, Vihaan; and Jack Reynor ("Transformers: Age of Extinction") as Mowgli's Brother Wolf. On the human side, young actor Rohan Chand ("The Hundred-Foot Journey," "Bad Words") will play the boy raised by wolves, Mowgli.
The film is being produced by Steve Kloves, who wrote seven of the blockbuster "Harry Potter" films. Jonathan Cavendish ("Elizabeth: The Golden Age," performance capture producer "Godzilla") is also serving as a producer. The screenplay is by Kloves' daughter, Callie Kloves, based on the stories by Kipling.
The story follows the upbringing of the human child Mowgli, raised by a wolf pack in the jungles of India. As he learns the often harsh rules of the jungle, under the tutelage of a bear named Baloo and a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli becomes accepted by the animals of the jungle as one of their own. All but one: the fearsome tiger Shere Khan. But there may be greater dangers lurking in the jungle, as Mowgli comes face to face with his human origins.

Look for production to begin as soon as Andy Serkis wraps up his duties on Star Wars Episode VII. Jungle Book: Origins hits theaters in 3D on October 21, 2016. More details when we get it.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Marvel's ANT-MAN Begins Production: Casting Call In Georgia

At long last Marvel's Phase 3 production of ANT-MAN has begun! Director Peyton Reed tweeted the news earlier today and Marvel has followed up with the press release below.

The production is using the code word BIGFOOT and that signage has been spotted in and around the Stanford Court Hotel. Filming notice has been made for Jones, Ellis and O'Farrell streets (prep today with shooting tomorrow, 7am to 10pm) under the production banner Pym Particles Productions, LLC.

A casting search is underway in Georgia if anyone is interested in an extras gig:

New Life Casting is looking for people to play the roles below in a feature film beginning late August in the Atlanta area. Please submit to Pictures need to be well lit and as clear as possible. Please upload a headshot, waist up and full body shots. If you have already submitted to us, please do not do so again. Also, please don’t be alarmed if you don’t get a confirmation email stating your submission went through. Our data base is undergoing surgery right now. If you submit, we will get it.
  • Military looks with some experience handling weapons
  • Scientists
  • Business looks
  • Ravers 18-23

Much of the Georgia shooting will be at Pinewood Atlanta Studios.

And here's Reed's tweet and the official Marvel press release:

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (August, 18, 2014) – Marvel Studios began principal photography today in San Francisco, California, on its newest Super Hero franchise Marvel’s “Ant-Man.” The film brings one of Marvel comics’ original founding members of The Avengers into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The production also shoots on location in Atlanta, Georgia, which serves as the base for the film’s production.

Set for release in the United States on July 17, 2015, the film is directed by Peyton Reed (“Bring it On,” “The Break-Up”) and stars Paul Rudd (“I Love You Man,” “Role Models”) as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man, and Michael Douglas (“Behind The Candelabra,” “Wall Street”) as his mentor Dr. Hank Pym and Evangeline Lilly (“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Lost”) as Hope Van Dyne, daughter of Hank Pym.

The film also includes outstanding additional cast including Corey Stoll (“House of Cards,” “The Bourne Legacy”), Bobby Cannavale (“Danny Collins,” “Annie,” “HBO’s “The Long Play”), Michael Peña (“End of Watch,” “American Hustle”), Abby Ryder Fortson (“Togetherness”), Judy Greer (“13 Going on 30,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”), David Dastmalchian (“The Dark Knight,” “Prisoners”), Wood Harris (“Remember the Titans,” “The Wire”), John Slattery (“Mad Men,” Marvel’s “Iron Man 2”) and Gregg Turkington (“The Comedy,” “On Cinema”) and multi-hyphenate T.I. (“American Gangster,” “Takers”).

Based on the Marvel comic character first published in 1962, Marvel’s “Ant-Man” continues the lineage of epic big-screen adventures chronicled in Marvel’s “Iron Man,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Iron Man 2,” “Thor,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and the upcoming Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

Marvel’s “Ant-Man” is produced by Marvel Studios’ president, Kevin Feige, with Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Michael Grillo and Stan Lee serving as executive producers.

Director Peyton Reed’s creative team also includes Oscar® winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter (“Titanic,” “21”), production designer Sheppard Frankel (“Identity Thief,” “Horrible Bosses”) costume designer Sammy Sheldon Differ (“X-Men: First Class,” “Kick Ass”), visual effects supervisor Jake Morrison (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” “The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers”), stunt coordinator Jeff Habberstad (Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” “X-Men: Days of Future Past”) and six-time Oscar® nominee, special effects supervisor Dan Sudik (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Marvel’s The Avengers”). The editors include Dan Lebental, ACE (Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” Marvel’s “Iron Man”) and Colby Parker Jr. (“Lone Survivor,” “Hancock”).

Marvel Studios’ upcoming release schedule includes Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015, Marvel’s “Captain America 3” on May 6, 2016, and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy 2,” on July 28, 2017.

Marvel Studios continued its unprecedented success in 2014 with more record-breaking films including the #1 releases of Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which recorded the largest April opening of all time at $95 million and Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which recorded the largest August opening of all time with $94.1 million. Both films were the #1 film in the world when they were released on April 4, 2014 and August 1, 2014, respectively.

In 2013 Marvel Studios delivered #1 openings for Marvel’s “Thor: The Dark World,” which grossed over $640 million worldwide and Marvel’s “Iron Man 3,” which grossed over $1.2 billon worldwide and was the highest grossing film of the calendar year.

In 2012 the studio produced the critically acclaimed “Marvel’s The Avengers,” which set the all-time, domestic 3-day weekend box office record at $207.4 million. The film, which shattered both domestic and international box office records, is Disney’s highest-grossing global and domestic release of all time and marked the studio’s fifth film to gross more than $1 billion worldwide.

In the summer of 2011, Marvel successfully launched two new franchises with Marvel’s “Thor,” starring Chris Hemsworth, and Marvel’s “Captain America: The First Avenger,” starring Chris Evans. Both films opened #1 at the box office and have grossed over $800 million worldwide combined. In 2010 Marvel’s “Iron Man 2,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury took the #1 spot in its first weekend with a domestic box office gross of $128.1 million.

In the summer of 2008, Marvel produced the summer blockbuster movies Marvel’s “Iron Man” and Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk.” Marvel’s “Iron Man,” in which Robert Downey Jr. originally donned the Super Hero’s powerful armor and starred alongside co-stars Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub and Gwyneth Paltrow, was released May 2, 2008, and was an immediate box office success.

Garnering the number one position for two weeks in a row, the film brought in over $100 million in its opening weekend. On June 13, 2008, Marvel released Marvel’s “The Incredible Hulk,” marking its second number one opener of that summer.

ANT-MAN opens on July 17, 2015 if Marvel can meet the aggressive schedule after the delays.

Source: OLV 

Monday, August 11, 2014


Movie patrons shelled out more this past weekend for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES than Marvel's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY but we'll see what happens as time marches on between these two huge 3D movies. I haven't seen TMNT yet, but it is in the cards.

TMNT took in $65.6 million making it the fourth highest grossing movie opening weekend in August of all time. It's probably the best cross over that producer Michael Bay could have entertained at this level - plenty of brand power and hungry for CGI.

Paramount stepped up almost immediately upon word of the solid box office returns to announce a sequel is in the works with an anticipated release date of June 3, 2016.

GUARDIANS remains a juggernaut. It has topped $314 million worldwide already and is still expanding into new markets. Look for standard Tier A returns for Marvel at the end of the run. Another grand slam.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES just topped $500 million worldwide and will easily top $400 million overseas to pad the final tally. Native 3D doesn't get better than the high standard set by  the DAWN 3D team and 3ality Technica! See it again!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Watch: THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Extended Edition Scene Disc Preview

Tim here, and in case you forgot about The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition, we've got a preview of a scene from it here! I know, how can there be more goodness from the second Hobbit movie? Well there is and I'm pretty excited about it. With any luck we'll get a special The Hobbit Extended Edition Marathon in 3D in theaters leading up to the release of The Battle of the Five Armies. 

The scene showcases Bilbo's climbing skills after the company reaches a swamp, which they've been warned by Gandalf holds some dark enchantments. That doesn't appear to stop the dwarves though, who encourage Bilbo to cross as he's the lightest. 

Check out the scene below:

There will be a total of 25-minutes of additional and extended scenes for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition. It's going to show some intriguing new moments from Bilbo's journey. 

You can grab a copy of the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Extended Edition on November 3rd on 3D Blu-Ray (and it's native 3D of course - shot on 3ality Technica rigs), 2D Blu-Ray, and DVD, a month before The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits theaters on December 17th, 2014 in IMAX 3D, RealD 3D, HFR 3D, and regular flavor 2D.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Movie Review: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - 9.1 Stars! $94M Opening!!

I have to say that director James Gunn has really nailed this one (9.1 stars - details below), and Marvel has yet another trophy opening on their mantle. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY earned $94 million + over the weekend with a worldwide take of $160 million +. This is getting to be a habit Marvel!

But this movie is more than just your standard Tier A comic book hero movie release. These guys are Tier B, unknown and unproven outside of a core group of comic fans - a huge risk for Marvel and Disney. However with large risks come large potential rewards! How does owning the box office record for best August opening sound? And not by a small margin - GOTG beat out THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM by $25 million.

AND... GOTG has tied or beat out it's own family's recent juggernauts, namely CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER ($95m) and THOR: THE DARK WORLD ($85.7m). How's that for unknown? It's a testament to the marketing power of Disney and the brand of Marvel - an unbeatable pairing. Nobody is going to be in Disney's neighborhood for the next decade with their onslaught of Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm productions, not to mention their own formidable studio offerings.

But this is not just about short term box office - to the contrary it's more about long term. GOTG opens up, well, the galaxy. Nothing really is untouchable now for Marvel and their vault of characters. Sure Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot can all have their own standalone movies. Sure the Avengers are sure to line up with these guys at some point in the future, especially when Thanos fully hits the scene. But now Marvel can feel much more confident about opening up their roster into the very depths of their library. I'd like to see some standalone / team up villain movies too. The sky is not the limit these days. The galaxy is.

So just how good was the movie? I won't spoil anything here for you but I can tell you this - it is the perfect blend of action, comedy, character development and visual effects that leave you wanting much, much more - and thinking about the movie the next day. THAT'S when you know you've hit the nail on the head. Top of mind discussion.

Some things that disappointed me (few and far between) were suspension of disbelief first and foremost - in some scenes, the visual effects were absolutely jaw dropping - some of the best I have ever seen, if not the best (some flight scenes with the Milano (spaceship) for example); however some other scenes were jarringly fake like and immediately yanked me out of enjoyment (some skyline scenes) - it just looked fake and hand painted. The lighting was off too. If I had to wager, I'd say different VFX companies were working on those scenes and believe me when I say to you Marvel, hire the Milano crew back and expand their tasks next time around. Heck I still gave the movie a 9.2 out of 10 for VFX, mainly because of those Milano flight scenes, etc. Don't NOT go to the movie because of this though, just be weary of it.

The stereoscopic 3D was good. Not as great as other Marvel productions, but good. A 9 out of 10 might be a little high, but the 3D didn't bother me much - it just didn't punch it to me. I noticed that both Stereo D and Prime Focus did the conversions - perhaps that split affected the end result - I don't know. Heck I wish Marvel would just go with native 3D and get it over with. For the life of me I don't understand why DC doesn't go native for a further differentiation between them and Marvel - more of a "high class" move. *Shake my head*

3D screenings were responsible for 45% of ticket sales which is not bad for a conversion. IMAX 3D was definitely enjoyable (I saw it in that format, and I will see it in Real D again this week) - with $11.7 million coming from IMAX showings.

The story is brilliant. Just it uses tropes but it does so with original and unknown character and seeing their story's develop, especially Star-Lord's was heart warming. A couple of times I had to wipe "moisture" from my eyes. It's a seriously good story. Love how Gunn pulled in the soundtrack too. LOVE it.

Acting was par at best, but we're not talking about a drama here - and comedy is hard to convey adequately - I thought Chris Pratt nailed it (the reason why my score for acting is as high as it is) and Dave Bautista shone. Saldana left a little on the plate I think. I know what she is capable of (AVATAR anyone?) and while her fighting skills were clearly excellent, I'd like to see more character depth in her portrayal of Gamora. The character definitely deserves it.

So yeah, 9.1 stars out of 10. A blockbuster breaking box office records and a heckuva summer movie. GO SEE IT!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Teaser Trailer Lands

Tim here, and the Teaser Trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is here! It's the final Hobbit movie, and it looks insane already. Check it out below:

First thoughts are: WOW! I love how the logos fly by at the very beginning. They would look so cool in stereo 3D, and I hope that I can see it in front of Guardians of the Galaxy this Friday in 3D. And the native 3D for the production should be over the top with 3ality Technica manning the camera rigs! We barely get glimpses of the action that is to come in the movie. We see a brief shot of Smaug bringing devastation to Laketown, followed by a shot of the aftermath. I definitely get a sense of the "calm before the storm" type of pacing with this teaser trailer. There's plenty of shots leading up to the big titular battle, and possibly some shots from it. I will say that the cinematography, color, and VFX presented within are already impressive.
The movie hits theaters December 17th, 2014 in IMAX 3D, RealD 3D, HFR 3D, and regular flavor 2D. We can also expect a full theatrical trailer in the fall, probably around October.

Watch: Red Band Trailer For SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

If you loved the original SIN CITY, then it seems you will love SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR, and isn't that what sequels are about anyway? More of the same type of experience? So if you like highly stylized, predominantly black and white, VFX locations and over the top characters then you are in for another treat. It looks amazing!

It's refreshing to see the SIN CITY treatment because it breaks the traditions of Hollywood and opens your mind to the endless possibilities of this genre and in storytelling.

Of course there is no shortage of talent lined up for this movie, starring Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Rosario Dawson, Jeremy Piven, Ray Liotta and Stacy Keach.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
Co-directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller reunite to bring Miller’s visually stunning SIN CITY graphic novels back to the screen in SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR. Weaving together two of Miller’s classic stories with new tales, the town’s most hard boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more notorious inhabitants. SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR is the follow up to Rodriguez and Miller’s 2005 groundbreaking film, FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY.

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR opens on August 22.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Instagram Teaser of Teaser Trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Tim here, and it looks like we got a 15-second teaser of the Teaser Trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies from the official Instagram account of The Hobbit Movie. Check it out below.

And later, the full 1080 version hit YouTube:
The teaser trailer will hit tomorrow (Monday, July 28, 2014) around 3PM EDT / 12PM PDT.

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